ESO - Theorycrafting: what is it # 2

As promised, I come back with the second part of this general guide on theorycrafting before coming back to the game that concerns us: TESO. If you haven't read the first article, let's briefly recall that theorycrafting is:

  • strategies
  • math
  • calculations
  • discussions

But then....

How to do theorycrafting?

Contrary to popular belief, anyone can do theorycrafting but there is a catch. Anyone can do it, indeed, but at their own level. And it is these levels that we will now talk about. Attention: this is a point of view on the possible divisions of theorycrafting. It's mine, in a fairly simplified version, I admit. It is worth what it is worth and, if it is sometimes questionable, it will still be justified.

Let's get into the thick of it. I'm talking about levels but what are they? These are the following 3 levels:

  1. Reader
  2. Librarian
  3. Writer

It is all well and good, you will say to me, but to what do each of these levels correspond? Do not worry ! I detail!


Level: reader

This is the minimum level of theorycrafters, of those who do not have the time to do a lot of tests and calculations ... or who do not have the knowledge to do it. Are you interested in advancing in the knowledge of your class? About the way you play? For that, you go on the internet, you read all the tutorials that exist in your language and choose one or more that you think are correct before testing what they say for verification. Very few calculations are required. Quickly, we look at the numbers that appear on the screen when there are any and we compare with the rankings that are built on the forums to see if our choices are correct or not.

These analyzes are very easy to set up. They tell me: you use such and such a spell at such a time and, by doing the same, I observe whether it works or not. And we end up arriving at a very correct gameplay which allows, in most cases, to drop the biggest objectives of the game in which we advance.

Level: Librarian

What is the difference with the reader level? We also go on forums to observe and analyze what is said but, in addition, we allow ourselves to go to the English or American forums because the latter are generally the strongest in terms of outright theorycrafting.

We analyze the guides, we try to understand the reasons why they use such and such spells rather than others. We are interested in combat statistics, in the headings that correspond to them, we list the equipment possibilities and we try to understand what their advantages and disadvantages are before choosing.

We will see further in the manipulation of the figures: why so much criticism is better than so much power or reductions on another statistic ... etc ... etc .... etc .... There are so many of things to take into account at this level that an exhaustive list would be impossible. In short, it is the reader level with additional calculations and not necessarily complicated because the basics are described in the guides.

The mathematical requirements of this level do not go beyond the calculation of the weighted average ... that is to say if the calculations are difficult.


Level: Writer

This is my landing. That of the insane, the mad, the passionate and ... mathematicians! By that I mean that anyone who has enough mathematical knowledge to carry the calculations further can enroll in this level of theorycraft. We discuss more detailed considerations on game statistics. We do tests, model calculations (linear, exponential), we try to understand how the game works in its smallest details and we report it to the community!

It means these people are writing! They write guides. Obtain feedback, different opinions which allow them to orient their research in various directions and thus obtain the best imaginable result ... until the next one.

The math requirements may seem overwhelming, but a good high school student can get by quite easily with excel or another spreadsheet. To go further, on the other hand, it will take notions of a higher level in statistics or probability and associate them with a little programming if we want to be really exhaustive in our research. These requirements are the most complicated to achieve but thus break down the barriers between developers and players because, even if the former tend to hide certain information, our theorycrafters are there to find them despite these difficulties.

I'm not sure if this is clear to everyone. These levels are obviously not exhaustive and we could spend hours nitpicking on the reasons for labeling people in this way ... The objective is not really to open this debate but rather to show that even if it may seem complicated , theorycrafting is not necessarily long (well, yes, probably a bit anyway) or reserved for an elite of professionals.
To do reader theorycrafting is more simply to learn about how to progress, how to evolve, no matter how you go about it.

Let us remember all the same that theorycrafting, and especially the long and tedious calculations which can be linked to it, are not compulsory in order to be able to enjoy playing. Their only interest is to try to show: Yeah! This is how we can have the biggest numbers on the counter !!!!

My next articles will focus more specifically on the TESO game and its own game mechanics. I will start by detailing the various statistics and the relationships between them before getting to the heart of the matter.

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